The chances of riding waves are slim on his surf safari to Lemoore, right in the California agricultural center, he notes. But with an expected heat of 115 degrees and perfect, peeling waves in a cool pool right in front of him, Reynolds believes he should be prepared just in case.

The waves at the Surf Ranch are mostly occupied by the world’s best surfers, who compete in a surf competition more than 160 miles from the coast.

The Surf Ranch Pro, the sixth spot on the World Tour, starts on Friday June 18 and runs through Sunday June 20. Several surfers from Southern California will compete against each other; some are regulars on the World Tour, but a few surprising highlights will make local surf fans cheer.

Griffin Colapinto from San Clemente, who is among the 32 best surfers in the world, will undoubtedly bring his air movements to the artificial wave. A strong finish here could put him in the battle for the World Surf League finals in September in Lower Trestles, where he grew up surfing. The top five surfers on the leaderboard will have a one day event to determine the world title in the famous surf break south of San Clemente.

Other well-known male surfers include Kanoa Igarashi of Huntington Beach, who is preparing for the upcoming Olympics to surf for host country Japan, and Patrick Gudauskas of San Clemente, who won a spot in the event as a wildcard violation and replaced the Australian Julian Wilson.
On the women’s side, the locals are to be cheered, including the San Clemente transplant Caroline Marks, who is also participating in the Olympic Games with Team USA, and Santa Ana’s Courtney Conlogue, a regular on the World Tour, as well as the San Clemente junior Kirra Pinkerton as a Surfer Injury Wildcard.

This is the second time Pinkerton has competed at the Surf Ranch, last year he took part in a Rumble at the Ranch event. Like the other participants, she was there for the last few days to train on the freshwater waves.
Kirra Pinkerton from San Clemente is surfing on August 9, 2020 at Rumble at The Ranch at The Surf Ranch. (Photo by Kenny Morris / World Surf League via Getty Images) “The wave is tricky because it’s not exactly like the ocean, but I feel like I’m getting a better feel for it,” she said. “The wave is pretty similar every time, you want to tackle the same wave rather than looking for different waves like the ocean.”

Pinkerton, 18, said she was more excited than nervous about going up against the world’s best female surfers.

“It’s the first event I’ve been able to do in a year and a half,” she said. “I am happy to be here and watch everyone and be a part of the event. I’m really happy after such a long break. … I’m just overwhelmed with good luck, to be honest. ”

Most surf fans have to watch from home. Reynolds, who helped build a last-minute trophy display box, got one of the few places to see the event in person.

It’s not his first rodeo at the Surf Ranch where the hour-long hike goes up the 5 freeway to see competitors at past events up close and personal on the waves. Once he was even invited to a secret concert by Eddie Vedder.

“It’s just awesome to see this wave and to see the best surfers in the world ride it,” he said. “As a precaution I’ll bring a surfboard. … I’ll take a surfboard with me if they can accommodate me before or after the contest. It’s not likely, but it could happen. ”

Holding a surfing competition in a wave pool, not in the ocean, uses a different system from traditional ocean competitions. The surfers are rated according to their combined top wave values ​​left and right in the 600 meter long pool.

The Brazilian world champions Gabriel Medina and Italo Ferreira, who are currently ranked first and second, will be hard to beat, as will the Brazilian Filipe Toledo, who lives in San Clemente and always pushes the envelope by making it big at the Surf Ranch.

Related links
Rivalry in the wave pool? Kelly Slater’s plan is one of 4 that target the desert
The surf spot that makes waves for So Cal surfers? An artificial wave in Waco, Texas
Kelly Slater hosted a secret surfing competition in his high tech wave pool contest
Wave pool competition in farmland in central California shows surfing of the future
River surfing on the rise with the help of wave legends like Gerry Lopez

The Surf Ranch was developed by eleven-time world champion Kelly Slater, who teamed up with Adam Fincham, a fluid dynamics expert at USC, in 2006.

A decade later, Slater unveiled the pool and held its first public event two years later in 2018.

Slater will be returning to competition at the event after being out for most of the year due to an ongoing injury.

The contest site is also home to “The Ultimate Surfer” which will air on ABC on August 23rd. The show follows 14 surfers, seven men and seven women, who live and train together as they battle it out at the Surf Ranch with the chance to be crowned “The Ultimate Surfer” and a wildcard for the championship tour.

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